“Egypt`s budget deficit dropped to 10.9% of GDP instead of 12.5% during the past fiscal year (FY), which ended in 30 June, and the annual economic growth rate increased to 4.1%, which is above the expected rate,” said Alaa Youssef, the presidential spokesperson.
Youssef said that the real GDP growth for different sectors rose this year for the first time since 2017. Also, commodity exports grew 10%, and commodity imports fell 14%, meaning the trade deficit also dropped by 26%.
These results came as a result of the IMF-backed plan to repair public finances, which includes running down welfare programmes.
Moreover, the unemployment rate decreased during the third quarter of the FY by 0.7%, meaning from 12.7% to 12%, reflecting the increase in employment opportunities as a result of national projects, being implemented throughout Egypt, according to the presidency statement.
“Economic growth rate hit 4.1% in [FY] 2016-2017 and increased to 4.9% in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year,” the presidency said in a separate statement on Tuesday.
The presidency described FY 2016-2017 as the year that witnessed a significant increase in foreign buyers’ purchases of treasury bills and bonds to reach $13bn at the end of June, compared to $1bn at the beginning of the year.
The government is looking to fully phase out fuel and electricity subsides in the next few years.
In another context, the presidency stressed that all administrative reform efforts are aimed at improving the governmental service provided to citizens and developing it at the level of Egypt in general and the localities in specific, as well as reducing reliance on the human element and the establishment and development of e-government services, including university coordination, traffic services, real estate, and documentation.
This needs the government to implement an integrated data and information system currently to provide comprehensive data that will help build an integrated digital society, with a structured institutional and legislative framework for the data-exchange process.